Mt Equinox

Hiked Mt Equinox in Manchester, VT on 5/27/2017. Equinox is on the New England 100 Highest list and since I don’t have too many left ¬†on the list I thought it was time to do a few of them. Weather was forecast to be partly cloudy and it seemed like there was more sun than clouds but a pretty nice cool day. The trail is in the Equinox Mountain Preserve and leaves from near the center of town. There are quite a few trails in th Preserve but only the Blue trail goes to the summit. It starts off as an old road and starts going up almost immediately about half way up at a turn off to a spring it turns into a trail and continues going up. There aren’t any views until you get to the summit where there is 360 degree visibility. There used to be a small inn at the summit that was torn down in 2012 and replaced with the current Visitor Center. There isn’t any food available but there are bathrooms. You can also drive to the summit for a fee.

Visitor Center at the top
View looking north from the summit
View looking south from the summit

After eating my PBJ at a picnic table in the sun I headed over to Lookout Rock to see what the views were from there.

Manchester from Lookout Rock

I walked back to the trail and headed down to the parking lot and the long drive home. Only 18 peaks left to finish the New England 100 Highest.

Bear Mt

Hiked Bear Mt on 5/24/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor and Larry Babcock. Weather was forecast to be partly cloudy with a chance of afternoon showers, luckily the showers held off and we didn’t get wet. We thought this would be short and easy bushwhack and then we would drive over to the end of Sawyer River Road and do Greens Cliff. That didn’t happen as this was a very tough bushwhack with steep slopes and lots of blowdowns. On some old maps there was a Bear Mountain trail that started about where we started but we didn’t find any evidence of it until we were almost at the summit. It took us almost 2 hours to hike the first 1/3 mile with all the blowdowns to navigate through then it opened up a bit and then we found the trail. Not many pictures as we were in thick woods all day.

Larry and I resting after the worst of the blowdowns
Summit canister
The four of us on the summit

Because we thought it would be a short hike Bill and Diane left their lunches in the car. I told them you should always have your lunch with you so they had no sandwiches to eat when we got to the summit at 11:30. Fortunately they did have some trail mix. I ate my PBJ and then we headed down. We took a different route to avoid the blowdowns that was a bit longer and we had to walk the Bear Notch road for a mile to get back to the car. It was a much easier and faster way to get down.

View from Bear Notch road

Only 43 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Our track for the day

Firescrew, Cardigan and Orange

Hiked Firescrew, Cardigan and Orange on 5/21/2017. Weather was clear and in the 40s to start and warmed up to the 60s by the finish. There were a few pesky black flies after it warmed up but they didn’t seem to be biting. Lots of spring flowers, good views from all 3 summits and very few people out except on the summit of Cardigan. I started at the AMC Cardigan Lodge where the parking lot was completely full but no one was around, I guess they were all inside eating breakfast. I took the Manning trail up to the summit of Firescrew. There were many false summits before you reach the actual summit. There were a lot of ledges which could have been quite slippery if they were wet or icy.

Painted Trillium on the way up Firescrew
Cardigan from near the summit of Firescrew
Looking Northeast from Firescrew
Camels Hump in Vermont

I headed over to Cardigan from Firescrew on the Mowglis trail. The map showed a short trail down to a Cave Grotto that I wanted to go see but I missed it and had to turn back to find it. Apparently the sign was missing or there never was one but I did find some faint blue blazes and followed them to a cave. The trail was hard to follow and had a significant cliff challenge but I made it down and back up without incident.

One of the caves

I then climbed the ledges to the summit where I took a short break and looked around at all the views. The firetower was locked. It was too early to eat lunch so I headed down the West Ridge trail and over to Orange.

Looking back to the summit from the West Ridge trail

I stopped to eat my PBJ at a good view point as I wasn’t sure there were views on the summit. Turns out there were views from the summit.

Wind turbines over near Plymouth

From the summit I took the Vista Mont trail down over to the Clark trail. On the way down was when the black flies started to be a nuisance.

Couple of Trout Lilies
Painted Trillium and Trout Lilies

There were a surprising number of really beat up trail signs and signs that were missing. Good thing I had a map so I could figure out which way to go.

Damaged trail sign

I took the Clark trail down to the Woodland trail and back to the lodge and parking lot.

Dwarf Ginseng growing in the trail

Only 44 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Whitewall Mt

Hiked Whitewall Mt on 5/17/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor. Weather was forecast to be partly cloudy, but it was mostly clear and warmed up into the 70s although a little cooler in the snowy areas. We hiked 2.5 miles up the Zealand trail to the AZ trail. There were nice views over the beaver ponds along the Zealand trail.

Beaver pond on Zealand trail
Another beaver pond view

Followed the AZ trail for about a quarter mile and then started the bushwhack to the summit of Whitewall Mt. We climbed a little steeply at first and then a gradual uphill the rest of the way. There was a lot of Hobble Bush which slowed us down going through it and trying to find a way around the really thick patches.

Diane making her way through the Hobble Bush

We struggled through the thick stuff and then into some snow that was knee deep in places and finally made it to what the GPS said was the summit, but it wasn’t. The true summit was about a quarter mile away. Near the summit we ran into a woman who was by herself and always hikes solo. She is working on a list of her own that she made up which is the 1000 highest peaks in the northeast. She hikes once or twice a week and isn’t retired. She owns her own construction business and takes every Wednesday off to hike.

Bill and I at the summit
View from the summit

We left the summit and headed over to the top of the cliffs to get some good views and eat lunch. We never did get to the top of the cliffs as it was really thick and we were going down rather steeply. We finally found a spot with a view and decided to stop there and eat our PBJs.

Lunch time
Slide on North Twin

After lunch we found our way back to our original track and headed down. We decided we didn’t want to go through the Hobble Bush again so we headed down to the Ethan Pond trail but we ran into some really steep stuff but it was better than the Hobble Bush.

Zealand Hut through the trees

We eventually made it down to the trail and started the walk back to the car. It took us almost 9 hours to hike 9 miles, not a world record pace. Only 45 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Track for the day

Wolf Cub

Hiked Wolf Cub on 5/10/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor. It was predicted to be a cloudy day with a chance of showers but luckily the showers didn’t happen and the sun was out for a while. We parked at the trailhead for Georgiana Falls which is off Rt 3 just a little north of Lincoln. We started up the Georgiana Falls trail and then branched off onto a snowmobile trail and then did a short bushwhack and rejoined the snowmobile trail. The snowmobile did a long 2 mile loop and we just went straight up and rejoined it. Some of the early spring flowers were in blossom along our bushwhack route, nice to see them and know that the snow will soon be gone.

Painted Trillium
Purple Trillium aka “Stinking Benjamin”

We followed the snowmobile trail for another 2 miles or so and passed Bog Eddie and some interesting roadside debris.

View of Franconia Ridge across Bog Eddie
Fresh snow on Lincoln
Abandoned car with a few bullet holes

We followed the snowmobile trail until we reached the power line where we started the bushwhack to the summit. We had about a mile to go and it was pretty easy with no steep sections but a lot of hobble bush. Lots of big piles of moose poop were in evidence. The last 1/4 mile to the summit was awful with postholing in the snow. At one point I went in almost to my waist. We were only going to a little over 3000 feet and didn’t think there would be any snow but we were on the north side of the mountain and apparently the sun hadn’t been shining in there to melt the snow. We reached the summit and signed in and ate our PBJs.

Summit canister

We took a different route down to avoid the snow but it was quite steep with a few cliffs which we worked around. There were lots of trees to hold onto so it wasn’t bad but I certainly wouldn’t go that way on the way up. There were more spring flowers out that like to wait until the sun is bright before they open up for the day.

Trout Lily
Spring Beauty

We crossed quite a few small streams that didn’t present any problems crossing and there were a few small waterfalls.

Nice waterfall

There were also lots of mushrooms growing on the trees.

Large mushroom

We soon got back to the snowmobile trail and followed it back to the car. We did the long loop rather than do another bushwhack. Only 46 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest.

Our track for the day

Mt Pliny

Hiked Mt Pliny on 5/4/2017. Weather was forecast to be bright and sunny and it was, unfortunately no views to be seen from this wooded summit. Mt Pliny is in Jefferson, NH a little southeast of Waumbek. It is on the New Hampshire 100 Highest list. I followed the abandoned Priscilla Brook trail for about 1.3 miles before starting the bushwhack to the summit.

Start of Priscilla Brook trail on Ingerson Road in Jefferson

The trail was easy to follow although somewhat overgrown in places and quite wet in some places.

Wet section of Priscilla Brook trail

Once I started the bushwhack it was drier although there was still some snow near the summit.

Purple Trillium almost in blossom
Trout Lily leaf but no blossom

There were some troublesome patches of hobble bush that slowed me down but no patches of spruce which was a relief. I reached the summit and ate my PBJ sitting in the sun.

Summit register bottle

The PVC canister was missing and replaced by a bottle. I made my way back to the trail and missed most of the hobble bush. There were lots of nice little waterfalls in Priscilla Brook that were looking good with the sunlight on them.

Priscilla Brook waterfall

Made it back the car and headed home. Only one more peak to finish the New Hampshire 100 Highest list. That will have to wait a while until the snow melts as it is up in Dixville Notch where there is still lots of snow.

Todays track